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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend

Thomas Nelson Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend

Apologist Zacharias joins Alister McGrath, John Lennox, and others to show Christians how to defend their faith and be transformed by it. Addresses topics including the process of spiritual change; the challenges posed by atheism, youth, science, and Islam; existential questions of evil and suffering; the validity of the Bible---and the hypocrisy of its followers. 384 pages, softcover from Nelson.
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4.3
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6 out of 6100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Review 1 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Resource

Date:November 5, 2012
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Bill
Location:Batavia, OH
Age:Over 65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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This is a great book on two fronts - 1) understanding for yourself and 2) to help ypu defend the faith as we're told to do in Peter. I highly recommend it.
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Review 2 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:February 4, 2011
Quality: 
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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Beyond Opinion is a collection of writings by different authors that deal with a variety of apologetic issues of the Christian faith. These issues are divided into four general sections which make it easier to access for future reference. And I believe that is exactly what this book is, a reference book. This is a book that you could use to prepare conversations you may have with a Muslim, an atheist, someone who believes in science to prove existence and to aid in response to those who question how a loving God would allow evil and suffering in the world, just to name a few. This book is academic in nature and very heady. And that should be expected since defending our faith with unbelievers is mainly intellectual in nature. It is a book that could very easily be used in an apologetics class to facilitate discussion. In the last section Ravi writes that as well as being intellectual we must also live our faith. He gives a quote from a non-believer who questioned whether our new birth was truly a supernatural act. The question was this, “If this conversion is truly supernatural, why is it not more evident in the lives of so many Christians I know?” After reading this book you shouldn’t need to have that question asked of you. Disclaimer - I received this resource free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Sneeze book review blogger program. All that was required of me is that I review it, positively or negatively, on my site.
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Review 3 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Good primer to the realm of Apologetics

Date:January 20, 2011
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Hungry
Location:Indianapolis, IN
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Not exhaustive, but well considered and written. This is a great "ground floor" text for the apologetics newcomer. My teenage son is also reading this book, to great advantage. If you have teens; this book will be valuable in providing some tools for them to address often asked questions of skeptical classmates and instructors.
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Review 4 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

"Beyond Opinion" is a must-read on apologetics

Date:November 24, 2010
Quality: 
4 out of 5
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If you want a significant resource to help you better share and defend your Christian faith, "Beyond Opinion" is the book you need to add to your bookshelf.
When I first started reading the book, I didn't think that would be my final conclusion. But the book, compiled by distinguished Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias (who did some of the writing and was joined by noted members of his international ministry), is loaded with skill-building knowledge for the Christian who wants to win people rather than arguments.
Initially, I thought it rather arrogant of Zacharias to write in the introduction, "This may not be a 'read-through' book that can be absorbed in a single sitting. But I suggest to you it is a 'must-read' book for our times ..." but I soon discovered Zacharias was right on both counts (even if he did "say so" himself!).
Getting into the book is slow going. I found the early chapters to be so laden with foundational information it seemed as if the writer was cutting corners to contain the chapters. That made for a choppy read, almost as if the work was the result of a poor edit job.
However --- and fortunately for that "however" --- the remainder of the book smoothed out into a readable flow chalk full of great insights about sharing and defending the Christian faith. These insights do not make for light reading. The material Zacharias and his co-writers present is the real, heavy-duty content of apologetics ranging from how to help the non-believer who has genuine questions about Christianity, to defending against the "enemies" who try their best to destroy our faith.
It is precisely because "Beyond Opinion" (published by Thomas Nelson) is not just another light-weight book on apologetics that I highly recommend it. The writers pull out all the "big words" and intellectual terms in the material they present, yet manage to provide readers of various backgrounds knowledge and insights understandable for anyone ranging from the new Christian to the experienced church leader.
If you're serious about sharing your Christian, faith, this is a serious resource that can better help you do that.
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Review 5 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great reading...really makes you think!

Date:November 9, 2010
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Jonathan McPeters
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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Beyond Opinion—Ravi Zacharias:
Alright, so Ravi Zacharias is the compiling editor, not the actual "author", but he did write a couple of the sections, and the other authors are on his staff at RZIM. Zacharias opens the book with an Introduction that effectively lays out the need for such a book. Beyond Opinion is a collection of articles on practical apologetics.
This is not the stuff that people go flocking to read, but rather the stuff that people prefer to defer to the experts. The point Zacharias makes in the introduction is that effective apologetics isn't just for the experts, but that the non-expert (i.e. the rest of us) instead needs "to connect with the questioner at a personal level." The stated purpose of the book is "to encourage and challenge the non-expert to feel comfortable talking about the Gospel without feeling the burden of needing a high level of philosophical training." He admits that it's not easy reading, but makes a compelling point that it is necessary reading given the times in which we live.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 6 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Apologética de fácil comprensión y mucha reflexión

Date:October 3, 2010
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rougek
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Es necesario para aquellos que viviendo una vida cristiana, encontramos diariamente multitud de formas de pensamiento y creencias, el poder comprenderlas, y establecer una correcta comunicación de nuestra fe hacia ellas.
En el libro Beyond Opinion del apologista Ravi Zacharias, encontramos un compendio de ensayos sobre distintas creencias del mundo moderno y creencias históricas, todas ellas cuestionando al cristianismo y el porqué creemos lo que creemos.
Encontré en la lectura de este libro, valiosa información para reflexionar en si mis creencias están firmemente arraigadas al punto de no sólo mostrar sino de demostrar que en mi vida se hace carne lo que creo, así como una reflexión acerca del modo de pensar de la gente con la que me encuentro a diario, atea, postmoderma, antireligiosa, etc.
El libro va más allá de informarnos sobre estas tendencias, pues exige de parte de nosotros que establezcamos un puente conversacional, que pueda responder a sus cuestionamientos y a sus necesidades manifiestas. Me impresionó lo profundo y bien escrito, y sin embargo fácil de comprender. Su invitación a prepararnos a responder a "todo aquél que demande una razón de la esperanza que tenemos" contiene un reto tanto en prepararnos intelectualmente, como en prepararnos espiritualmente, para ser coherentes con lo que decimos creer.
Es definitivamente un libro que vale la pena tener como libro de consulta constante, para este mover de los días, donde cada uno cree lo que quiere. Totalmente recomendado.
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Review 7 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:September 26, 2010
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Jennifer Ekstrand
Through Book Sneeze, Thomas Nelson gave me a copy of Beyond Opinion to review. With Ravi Zacharias as general editor, this apologetics book is a compilation from members of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), claiming to be "intended to encourage and challenge the nonexpert to feel comfortable talking about the gospel without feeling the burden of needing a high level of philosophical training" (page xix). I found the book disappointing. The writing style varied from chapter to chapter, but despite being intended for "the nonexpert," it was frequently academic with sentences such as "So in conclusion, it is significant to note that the councils of the church that met to confirm the canon and counteract the increasing number of fourth century forgeries and heresies were a representative group of the geographical breadth of the church" (page 12) and "We can also legitimately surmise that in the coming together of the apparent determinism of classical macrophysics and the uncertainty at the quantum level, even inanimate nature reflects the complementarity in the being of God" (page 243).Statistics were misused. At least three times comparisons were made between the violence in the last century compared to earlier history without mentioning factors such as an increased population and technology (pages 14, 53, and 249).Although the book is meant to encourage "the nonexpert," experts were often presented as the solutions. In the chapter Challenges from Youth, Alison Thomas claims "We cannot provide children with a brain religion unless youth ministers are required to undergo formal training in theology." The chapter The Churchs Role in Apologetics and the Development of the Mind focused on pastors and leaders with little reference to members.
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Review 8 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 19, 2010
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Hope Marshall
In Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend, Ravi Zacharias understands Christians must connect on a personal level with others of differing opinions and offers this volume addressing the many current streams of philosophical and religious thought. We need to understand what we believe and internalize the why. We need to understand what is behind the thinking of those with differing viewpoints and the problems a skeptic might have with Christianity. "This book responds to the opinions of people with the convictions that the gospel and its imperatives commend. " (p.xx) Intelligent and thought-provoking, Beyond Opinion gives much food for thought and is not meant to be read in a sitting or two. The book brings together essays related by different authors from their own area of expertise, (e.g. youth culture, eastern religions, science) each speaking with a sincere desire to reach individuals, to answer hard questions, and to remove stumbling blocks to salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. This book will encourage, challenge, and equip you. If you haven't given much thought to an apologetic, this is a wonderful book to get you going. If you are an experienced apologist, there is much here to be gleaned. Not only does it address having a ready defense for your own faith, this book gives a higher vision of reaching others because we deeply care about them. Highly recommended. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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Review 9 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:September 16, 2010
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David Kerr
In BEYOND FAITH by Ravi Zacharias, the author talks about how to defend our faith and how to live it out. They, academically, take apart our social and personal reasons for our inability to defend our religion, and they provide us resources for developing the part of us that can defend it. They view our defense of God as a legitimate form of worship.I really liked the basis of the book. Contextually, it fit right in with the other messages being peddled by Christian authors. It also had a fully developed message without any plot holes. For a book about defending faith, this one was pretty good at defending itself.That being said, the book was too academic to be an easy read. In fact, it was a hard read! While it was thoughtful and intelligent, it required you to be thoughtful and intelligent to read it! It was tough!
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Review 10 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 21, 2010
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Sean Hagey
Beyond Opinion is a collection of individual articles with the focus of defending Christianity (apologetics). It covers challenges to Christianity from other worldviews and religions, cultural and philosophical challenges, and how your beliefs should transform you. It is a book that attempts to address the whole person, while avoiding the label of just another academic textbook.While I admit that I found a majority of the topics interesting and enlightening, this book felt and read very much like an Intro to Apologetics textbook. Beyond Opinion walks a fine line as it attempts to cover a huge amount of ground, but sometimes feels like its far too short to be a textbook but not thorough enough to do justice to the topic. For example, the section covering atheism is well done, but less than twenty pages. Only a brief intro to a huge topic. Overall, it was well written, but definitely not an easy read. I would recommend this book without hesitation to someone who wanted a scholarly introduction to the world of apologetics, but I feel the casual reader would not enjoy it.Disclosure Note: Thomas Nelson has been gracious enough to give me a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 11 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 19, 2010
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New Girl
This is a must read for every Christian! Beyond Opinion is comprised of essays by various Christian scholars that address challenges to Christianity from post-modernism, Atheism, Islam and eastern religions. It also addresses the ever present challenge of a Holy God verses evil and suffering. But Beyond Opinion doesnt stop at just giving us the answers, but challenges the reader to Live out the answers. The first and foremost task of the apologist is to stand for truth and to clarify the claims of the gospel. (pg314)
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Review 12 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 15, 2010
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Karin
I've never read apologetics, by my friend raves about Zacharias, so I decided to pick this up. It's a little misleading in that Zacharias wrote very little of the book - most of it is written by members of his ministry. While I was originally disappointed in that, I ended up liking it.This is a collection of essays written by many people about the challenges to Christianity, such as Islam, Postmodernism, and even youth. While some of the essays were harder to read than others, because different people wrote different chapters, it was nice to find someone with whom I could connect.I found this book to be a nice introduction to apologetics (especially for someone who has never read them). The different topics and styles put everything into "smaller bites", so it was easy to chew and digest. A word of caution - because it is apologetics, it's wordy, so it can take a while to get through.
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Review 13 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 29, 2010
The book is a compilation of essays regarding Christian apologetics, topics ranging from atheism to science to Islam, Hinduism and other cultural challenges. It was written by well known apologist Ravi Zacharias and other members of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries team. Beyond Opinion will equip the reader to give a make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15), spiritually and relationally. This book masterfully creates the Christian argument with gentle loving logic. The length of the book and small font intimated me, I wont lie, but it is not intended to be read in its entirety at one time. That said, I found it delightfully engaging; a great go-to book for apologetics and evangelism. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 14 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:July 28, 2010
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LR
The book is a compilation of essays on a variety of topics regarding Christian apologetics, written by well known apologist Ravi Zacharias and other members of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries team. The essays in the book address many of the challenges that the Bible and Christianity face today, ranging from atheism to science to Islam, Hinduism and other cultural challenges. One of my favorite essays dealt with challenges from today's youth culture. Having attended a Christian college, I did not have to face so many of the challenges to the Christian faith that many students attending secular universities run up against both in and out of the classroom. However, I know many others who have, and I think that this particular essay is a valuable resource for students as well as parents, youth/college ministers, and other leaders. The book also discusses the roles of evil and suffering, doubt and persecution, and other challenging topics. I'll admit that this was not exactly an easy read; I was drawn to certain essays more than others. Overall, however, I found the book to be quite helpful in giving me a better idea of some of the challenges that the Christian faith faces today and how to better address those challenges.
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Review 15 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:July 18, 2010
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GiniB
Apologetics. Sounds imposing and I nearly missed this one because of that. Don't make the same mistake. This book has been out in hardbound but just released in soft cover and I think that may help get it into more hands. It's a compilation of articles that cover a wide range of topics including the why bother with apologetics lead piece. Further into the work the reader finds discussions related to atheism, Islam, Eastern religions and even science, all thoughtfully written and a great place to get an idea of the challenges to Christianity that are out there. As a general review or just a first look, this book offers a lot to the reader in its 350 or so pages.But, wait there's more. Seriously though, I found the second section of the book, especially Cross Cultural Challenges by I'Ching Thomas, much more helpful in my current situation. Other readers may find a particularly helpful bit somewhere else along the way. I doubt that anyone will come away from this book empty handed. Yes, this is a more difficult read than most. No, it's not an academic read, but you will have to slow down and think about what is written if you intend to receive what they have to say. Personally, I think that is wonderful. Engaging with minds that have thought through what they believe and can articulate their views rationally is a find for those of us that want more. Content end notes are included and add depth to some of the discussions. Don't skip them totally. My only nit with this book is the smallish font size. I'm for saving all the trees we can, but in this case I'd sacrifice one more for the cause. I say scale down some of the short fiction pieces this publisher offers and use that paper for this book please. Overall please take the time to read this book and share it among your friends. Better yet, talk about it with them over coffee or tea.This book was furnished to me in exchange for this review by BookSneeze.
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Review 16 for Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:July 14, 2010
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Doug Hibbard
There is much talk today about being Christians in the midst of a multi-cultural and pluralistic world. Some of the talk comes from within the family of faith, some from outside, and it raises good questions. What are those questions?Well, there are questions like: "Why is there evil?" or "How can Christians claim that their God is the only right one?" Within the church, we ask similar questions, like "How can I insist I'm right? Isn't that disrespectful?"Unfortunately, we in the American church aren't generally well-equipped to answer these questions. Over the years, the ease of cultural Christianity has dulled the sharpness of our minds, the ability to formulate coherent explanations of our faith and defenses of it. Moreover, as we're faced with these questions, our answers have too often been long on talk and short on action. We've professed a belief in a life-changing God without changed lives.Enter the efforts of Ravi Zacharias with Beyond Opinion. This is not simply another textbook on apologetics, nor is it a basic list of evidences for our faith. This is, instead, a collection of essays that address specific topics. They are written by a variety of theologians, many that are involved with Zacharias' ministry group. Some of these names were familiar to me, others I've never heard of.As to the content of this work: this is not light reading. There is a great deal here to digest, and much to consider. The arguments and ideas are well presented. The difficulty with this book arises with accessibility. It's a challenge to write a book that deals with philosophy and theology and not go over a few people's heads. And this is not to take away from those people's intellect. Theology is a science, after all, and just as you wouldn't expect to lightly read a forensics textbook, you are not going to grab this off the shelf for casual summer reading.That's not to say it shouldn't be read. This is well worth your time.
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